Environment: Tracking The Radon Threat

The danger, say officials, is worse than previously believed

In Bismarck, N. Dak., last week, real estate agent Al Schaible sighed as he anticipated a wave of requests for tests for the radioactive gas radon from buyers and sellers of homes. "Checks like that were unheard of before this," complained Schaible. "A lot of people are talking about it." Indeed they are. The message of the Federal Government's latest public-health advisory on the radon danger, released last week by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Surgeon General's office, is ominous: a new survey of homes in seven states shows that high levels of cancer-causing radon are more widespread than was...

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